A rose in a corn field is only just a weed. Sometimes they are a welcome spot of color. Sometimes they make you want to take out every chemical you own, plus a flame thrower, and boiling oil. My neighbor adores creeping bellflower and I continually rip it up whenever and wherever I spot it. Here are my thoughts about a few chosen weeds I'm encountering.

I don't have any photos of purslane because, for some reason, I can't grow it. I have tried. I've even purchased seed for a larger English variety. No real luck. I love the way it tastes. It's great in vinegar with onions and cucumbers. Sigh.

I have a fondness for many weeds. I adore clover. I have wonderful memories of sitting in a patch of clover in the yard, hunting for four-leaf clovers. One patch was sure to offer up such a find. My sister even found one with five leaves once. I envied her all summer. In fact, I think I might have stolen it from her. My grandfather had a large planting of clover in his back yard for his honey bees. I've planted clover in my lawn (back when I had a lawn.) I think it's a huge asset: it blooms and it doesn't grow too high.

Every year I end up yanking out clump after clump of violets. And it makes me feel terrible. I love violets. I have a few clumps of the freckled variety that, since I purchased them, I feel I can allow to spread in their slow, slow, slow pace. But the ones on the boulevard and in the cracks in the sidewalk have to be removed eventually. But they are so sweet when they bloom. And you can eat the flowers.

Creeping charlie
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It's really rather pretty blooming in small amounts in yards where the grass is having a hard time growing in the shade. The smell reminds me of my grandmother's house. And you can make gil tea (not really very tasty) from the plant. But the winding, tenacious little creeps need to get out of my flower garden. I do enjoy the feel of pulling out a really long vine of the stuff. It's a little like carving a long single strip of apple peel when preparing to make apple sauce. Truly satisfying.

I apologize for hating columbine. I feel terrible about it. But they are everywhere in my garden. I can't get them out of the strawberries. They never keep their foliage because the leaf miners and inch worms totally destroy it. But the plants manage to get their blooms up and matured so seeds can go everywhere. I did enjoy when Black Bart and Nora Barlow hybrids mixed. But enough with the prosperous offspring of the wild variety. Seriously. No more columbine. If you visit and see it in anywhere in my garden, you must rip it out.

Garlic chives
These suckers are going to send me to the nut house. Everywhere. I'm going to have to dig up the narrow strip of rock garden all along the side of the house so I can get rid of the suckers. Then next year I'll probably have to do the same. You see I really love to use garlic chives in my culinary pursuits. I use it often enough to keep the flowers from even opening. But every year I must miss a few. I have onion chives on the terraced slope in back of my house. I found them while whacking down to size all the bushes planted there. I found twice as many chives as I did dandelions.

Milkweed, elm trees, buckeye trees, plantain, nightshade, mallow, buckthorn .... I have to stop now. My blood pressure seems to be going up just a bit too much. But before I go, here's a good resource for identifying and getting suggestions for eradicating local weeds: Control Options for Common Minnesota Lawn and Landscape Weeds


  1. Wait, Columbine is a weed? How come I PAID for 2 different color varieties last year and planted them in a garden bed?

  2. Like she said, "A rose in a corn field is only just a weed." If it grows where you don't want it, it is a weed. I am fine with my clover, creeping charlie and violets. I hate the quackgrass, (other) ground ivy and soapwart!

    I have been struggling to get some columbine to grow in what will in future be known as the Hosta bed on the all shade North side of the house. Only a couple of the 6 from last year are back. So far, none of the "huge" Christmas ferns I planted in that bed are showing any signs of life. The hostas, they are all fine.-- including the giant one from Jodie (aka random hiker)! So, "the hosta bed" it is.

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